Sunday, July 17, 2011

Crisis Part 11 - Attack Of The Two Tiny Titans!

As 1967 rolled around, the team-ups between heroes on Earth-1 and Earth-2 continued, often without much in the way cover notice, since apparently the crossovers are becoming more and more commonplace, a regular part of the DC experience. That's though not the case with the first official crossover of the The Atoms as they take on Earth-2's The Thinker, which still seems to have that special buzz.

"The Thinker's Earth-Shaking Robberies!" by Gardner Fox with Gil Kane and Sid Greene on the artwork, begins in the office of Jean Loring where she assures a distraught actress named Cheryl Drake that she will win custody of her children for her. The scene shifts to a museum where Loring meets Ray (The Atom)Palmer. Almost immediately folks are hit with a crippling pain while a flashy villain robs the museum. The Atom responds and beats the henchmen before following the lead villain through a shimmering doorway to Earth-2. There it is revealed to the reader that The Thinker has juiced up his Thinking Cap with telekinetic abilities and thinks that by robbing on Earth-1 he will be free to enjoy his booty on Earth-2, but he soon discovers someone identified as The Thinker has committed a similar robbery and he, The Thinker, has been blamed.

In Part 2 we meet Artie Perkins and his wife. Artie is a reformed Earth-2 burglar and he finds himself in possession of stolen loot. He calls Al (The Atom)Pratt and Earth-2's "Mighty Mite Crusader" heads off to help. Meanwhile we see The Thinker commit robberies and realize he is influencing someone else through his souped-up cap to do likewise. Artie goes into a trance and commits a similar robbery despite The Atom's vain attempts to stop him. When Artie comes out of the trance he is desperate when the Atom of Earth-1 shows up and the heroes compare notes. The Thinker then appears and a battle rages leaving the heroes and Artie caged.

Part 3 has the two Atoms escape and pursue The Thinker to another museum on Earth-1 where he's plotting another theft. They stop him with a double punch and disable the thinking cap. The story ends with Jean Loring telling Ray that she was successful in her court case.

This is fun story with bright clean artwork by the Kane and Greene team. The Atoms make a fun pairing since they so very different from one another unlike the Flashes or the Green Lanterns who have had the single team-ups before. One confusion for me is the Jean Loring sub-plot. That beginning and that ending don't seem to relate to the main story at all, not even thematically. There is easy movement between the Earths, pointing to the fact that this transition is becoming a commonplace feature in DC stories.

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